Need some inspiration? Here are selected quotes that can help you put pen to paper.
Cut the boring parts
“I try to leave out the parts that people skip.” — Elmore Leonard
More than ever, you need to fight for the attention of your readers. There’s no point in publishing content that isn’t useful and interesting.
Eliminate unnecessary words
“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete itand the writing will be just as it should be.” — Mark Twain
Write with passion.
“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” — William Wordsworth
The pro-tip here is that if you’re not excited about what you are writing no one else will be, either.
Paint a picture
“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” — Anton Chekhov
This dude gets it. Simply stating something is fine, but when you need to capture attention, using similes, metaphors and vivid imagery to paint a picture creates a powerful emotional response.
Squash your inner critic
“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy of creativity is self-doubt.” — Sylvia Plath
Regardless of your endeavor, you’ll face criticism, so why do it to yourself? Create your best work and put it out there.
Keep it simple
“Vigorous writing is concise.” — William Strunk Jr.
Maybe it was all of those late nights, struggling to fill out mandatory 10 page papers, but many people still seem to think that worthwhile writing is long and drawn out. It’s more difficult (and effective) to express yourself in the simplest possible manner.
Do it for love
“Write without pay until somebody offers to pay.” — Mark Twain
When you’re just starting out it’s hard to decide where to begin. So don’t. Just start writing. A blog is a good place to start. The most valuable benefit is the feedback.
Learn to thrive on criticism
“You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance.” — Ray Bradbury
Writing means putting yourself at the mercy of hecklers, sycophants and haters. Learn to make the most of the insults and be skeptical of the praise.
Write all the time
“The way you’ll define yourself as a writer is that you write every time you have a free minute. If you didn’t behave that way you would never do anything.” — John Irving
Write what you know…or what you want to know
“Learn as much by writing as by reading.” — Lord Acton
Successful writing is all about trust and authority. It makes sense to write about your area of expertise. If you don’t have a particular expertise, reading and writing is the best way to develop one and put it on display.
The power of persistence
“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.” — Octavia E. Butler
Nothing good comes easy, perseverance and consistency makes it look easy. Everyone watches the Olympics, but no one is at the skating rink at 5AM seeing the work that gets put into the performance.
Be unique and unpredictable
“Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.” — Oscar Wilde
Following what works will only get you so far. Experiment with new styles, even if it means taking criticism. Without moving forward, you’ll be left behind.